The new right to attend antenatal appointments is part of an ongoing attempt by the government to bring fathers closer to early childcare, and to encourage them to do so, and is part of recent advancements in Shared Parental Leave. A third of fathers do not take any time off before the birth of their child – leaving him totally absent from the mother’s journey before the birth. “Parenting is a shared endeavour and we want to encourage full involvement from fathers from the start. The right to time off work to attend antenatal appointments will help dads and partners play an important role in the early stages of pregnancy.” Employment relations rinister Jo Swinson, who made the announcement today, said. “Dads have a key role to play in the first weeks and months of a baby’s life and it is right that the arrangements for parental leave should reflect that. “Employers will benefit from lower staff turnover and having a workforce that is more flexible and motivated.” The new legislation is part of Shared Parental Leave, which comes into effect for babies due on or after the 5th of April, or adoptions if the baby is placed after that date. It will also affect same sex couples who may have a surrogate. Real Business has a guide on paternal employment law here.
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